2020 Toyota Camry Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Excessive battery drain, electrical system and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

The Toyota Camry has a long history in America. The 2020 Toyota Camry is said to “surpass all expectations,” according to the manufacturer. However, customer complaints prove that the automaker hasn’t come close to meeting these hopes. Whether it is the defective electrical system, malfunctioning engine or the poor visibility, this Camry simply lets people down.

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Problems with the Electrical System

Whether customers are relying on the electrical system to listen to tunes or to start the car engine, this system is vital to everyday operation.

One Edmunds review talks about some troubles. “The WIFI and remote app stooped working 2 weeks later its now February 2020 and the dealer is still trying to fix it. Also, I have the upgraded sound system which the rare speaker rattles. The dealer told me it’s the car seat tensions and rare brake light housing. They are still trying to fix this issue.”

Problems with the Dead Battery – Draining

Moving onto the battery, Toyota is aware of some troubles with this system. Service Bulletin #T-SB-0007-19 talks about different aspects that can affect the performance and life of the battery. The reason for this bulletin was to address a growing number of customer concerns about needing a new battery within the first year of the car’s life.

Here is one of several owner’s complaints mentioning the issue on Kelley Blue Book: “I bought what I thought was my dream car, a 2020 Toyota Camry 06/01/20. Today is the 3rd time I have taken it in to the dealership to have the 2nd battery replaced- I took it in two weeks ago, dealership said everything was fine- they forced the battery to fail, said they replaced it and this morning after the car sitting for one day without being driven and it was dead again! I am so disappointed in this car.”

Toyota doesn’t take any responsibility but claims the batteries are dying because of storage, temperature, battery loads and parasitic drains. It must just be that Camry owners are harder and more damaging to their batteries than other owners. It’s a very strange phenomenon.

Problems with the Engine

The car engine is arguably the most essential component. However, with the Camry, there are some serious defects that must be repaired.

Here is one NHTSA complaint. “Car smells like coolant when exiting after driving. Cannot find visible leak, but overflow reservoir is empty after 3,000 miles.”

It turns out, this is such a large problem that Toyota needed to issue a recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V064000 states that over 40,000 vehicles might have engine castings that are porous. This design can produce cracks that allow the coolant to leak both externally and internally. If there is a leak, occupants also risk a fire. Since when is a car fire exceeding expectations? Customers must have drastically lowered the bar for this to be acceptable.

Problems with the Auto Glass

The word visibility references the view from the windshield, but it also relates to the other aspects of auto glass.

One NHTSA complaint states, “I was driving down the interstate when I heard a loud gunshot sound and all the sudden glass rained down on me and into my car. My sunroof exploded out of nowhere. This could have caused me to wreck because I shut my eyes and swerved. Also, thank goodness my daughter wasn’t in the back seat or she could have been seriously injured.”

Sadly, Toyota has chosen not to address this problem. Instead, the company issued Service Bulletin #T-TT-0537-19_Rev talking about a defective blind spot monitor sensor angle that needs to be repaired. It is just proof once again that this vehicle can’t possibly exceed expectations because it can’t even get the basics done right. Whether it is starting a fire or spontaneously exploding the auto glass, this Camry ensures that customers expect very little.

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About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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25 COMMENTS
  • John

    battery died after 16k miles on day I had to take wife to surgery. It took 12 hours just to get it towed to dealer ( I paid 1600.00 for Toyota extended warranty) Dealer told me battery failed and after a new battery and re-boot it should be fine…I’m afraid to drive it anywhere…if it starts! Very dissapointed

  • Brenda G

    Purchased a 2020 Toyota Camry SE in July 2020. I too have had 2 experiences with the battery draining. I did not take it to the Dealer to be checked. But I also have experienced a RATTLING noise in my DASH not long after I purchased the car. I have investigated everything and I know the noise is coming from the DASH. Sometimes in the ODOMETER area, sometimes in the Middle display area, and sometimes from the far right side of the dash. The RATTLE moves around but it is coming from the dash. I took it in to the Dealer in September 2021. The TECHs informed the ADVISOR JP it was the driver sunvisor, of course I knew it was not that. But I let them replace it on 9/27/21. That same day the RATTLE continued. I did let the ADVISOR JP know via in person while getting my oil changed on 10/02/21. I have not schedule a new date to take it back. Very frustrated.

  • Carnecia W

    Purchased my 2020 Toyota Camry last October, so technically it hasn’t been quite a year yet. Last month the battery drained and the dealership recharged it and updated the software. Again last night the battery drained leaving me stranded at the movies.

  • Ginger

    Also have the battery problem with the hybrid. They said the hybrid battery was draining the auxiliary battery. AAA couldn’t charge it, the dealership had to come out to do it. Said they would do a software update and also asked how often I drive it. I drive it everyday and it is a 2020 SE with about 7,500 miles. It was also in the shop about three months ago with major hybrid issues. Not sure what they were but after $5,100 was spent (under warranty so I didn’t have to pay) the paperwork only said replaced a fuel pump which took them getting a special technician from Toyota in and 13 days to “fix”. I want my money back.

  • Roberta M

    I bought my new Toyota Camry 2020 last year, because I thought new car, means dependability since I was forced to buy a new car due to my Hyundai GT dying on me. Well was doing fine, then this year in April 2021 the car while at my house wouldn’t start, got a jump from AAA then went to the dealership and was told “cars are just like that” and that it wasn’t the battery when the AAA said it was. Okay i thought. Come August 2021 and again same problem, thankfully I have been at my house when this happens, went in and was told they’ve seen this problem a lot with Toyota Camrys and it’s not really a “recall” but that it would take awhile to diagnose AND that I could get charged for the diagnosis! I am very very disappointed, I bought my car based on people saying Toyotas’ are great and dependable and it appears I was let down. I don’t know what to do 🙁

  • Gloria K

    I had a battery problem Sunday,wouldn’t start.Toyota said the Battery needed an update??..my car has 5296 miles 2020 Camry LE. This has never happened.I had four other Camry’s without a problem.what’s up Toyota?? Time for Voluntary recall?..It better NOT Happen Again!

  • Trish F

    I also have a 2020 Camry SE. Getting ready to go to work and car won’t start. My husband jump the car with a smaller battery pack and it didn’t start. He used a bigger one and it started and wanted to let it run for a bit before taking off. I pressed the gas pedal and there were loud clacking sound coming from the passenger front of the engine. So, we recorded the loud noise. Towed the car to Toyota and they told us that its a battery issue that needed software update. Due to the dead battery, the Valve Timing Gear was making noise. When picking up the car, the receipt stated that customer compliant loud noise but unable to verify customer compliant at this time. I was levied! I said wow, he tells me one thing and wrote down another. I tell you, Toyota got to do better with quality and customer satisfaction!

  • Mike

    I have a 2020 Camry hybrid and it has the battery drain issue also. I replaced it with a yellow top optima battery and it’s been 6 months no problem. I am definitely not happy with the car but given I am upside down I will keep it for a bit. If you have a regular Camry you would need to use the red top I believe. Anyway so far so good.

  • Danny

    I have a 2020 Toyota Camry SE battery issue. Wife comes home from work parts the car in the garage. We didn’t drive the car at all the next day. She goes to start the car the falling day and the battery didn’t have enough charge to start the car. Dealer said that we must have left something on. But there was nothing left on. This has happened twice.

  • Susan

    Experiencing dead battery issues with my 2020 toyota camry, very upset.
    This is the 5th time that my Toyota has left me stranded. The battery, alternator have been replaced, what next?

  • Debra N

    I bought a new 2020 Camry Le . After several months I notice a mold wet smell in the car . I took the car to the dealer and was told a plug under the car was missing and the entire car got wet , and all they could do is install plug and shampoo carpet and they were done. I was told they would not do anything else to my Camry . I still drove a stinky Camry until I was fed up .
    What a living nightmare I went through . I will never buy a Camry again .

  • LeAnne

    Our 2020 Camry SE had 1600 miles, sat for 5 days while we were on vacation, came back to a dead battery. Took it to a dealership and they updated two computers, anyone have battery troubles after an update?

  • Sue

    Just purchased a certified pre owned 2020 Toyota Camry SE 12 days ago. I came out to take my kid to school and the battery was dead I didn’t drive it on the weekend only 2 days and the battery is drained it has 17k miles on it. Jump state from another car and took to the dealer they had it for a couple hours and said it was a update issue so we she’ll see. This is insane a 2020 car doing this I never had problems with Honda, acura and bmw. I’m thinking my 20 year old acura is more reliable. If I would have known about all these issues I would never have bought this car and went with Honda. First Toyota and I never plan on purchasing another one.

  • Shirley F

    I truly hate this car nothing like the 2002 I had for over 18years. It is truly a piece of junk; this morning at 5 am went to leave for work and it would not crank, call for roadside service and was told I did not have it. Within 2 hours I called back thdre was no problem. Roadside gentleman came out and jump started my car and I was told by him I needed to get a portable jumper cable kit. He said he has had lots of calls for the same problem. Sitting here now at the dealership waiting on them to do a diagnostic test but they can not guarantee me this will not happen again.
    What am I suppose to do if this keeps happening? I purchased a new car thinking It would be dependable but From reading what others have written my hope is out of the window.
    I have also notice other problems with this car, floor mats are overated, car rattles, internet system is a piece of crap.

    I am totally at my wits end with this hunk of beauty.

  • Iván j

    My car has a serious problem, the engine sounds ugly and it does not have forces xse 2019

  • Ashraf K

    I had purchased a 2020 Toyota Camry XSE in SEP ’20. On FEB 17 ’21, I found my car dead – key fob couldn’t unlock the car; flickering display with multiple messages; car wouldn’t start. I had to jump with other car and it’s been going well since. After having researched and taken to dealership on FEB 25 ’21, I was told all the TSBs till date were obsolete and that I check again in two weeks for a new update. I shall also test it out to see if the problem persists by keeping it stationary for 2-3 days.

    I am in a worry for if this isn’t resolved and I may be stranded. A new car shouldn’t have such a problem.

  • Marilee D

    Purchased 2020 Camry on October 1,2020, 28 days later battery was dead. Car was jump started dealer replaced battery. January 1, 2021 battery again dead. After jump start dealer again replaced the battery. Service advisor told us to drive the car 20 miles on the highway every day to keep the battery charged. Toyota is no longer a reputable car company. Windshield cracked at the base where it was installed on vehicle. There was no damage to the vehicle. Windshield had to be replaced.

  • Lonnie

    2020 Camry LE brakes for no reason. The car brake checked three people. Transmission downshifts when you let off the accelerator. With cruise the transmission shifts constantly but hard to make it downshift going certain speeds. Transmission sounds and feels like it’s slipping in some gears. Started misfiring going up hills with cruise set this week. Crash avoidance warns to brake after the posibility of the collision is well over. Eng rattles and knocks most of the time. Can’t disable trunk button to secure items in the trunk. Valet mode in Entune doesn’t do anything except stop someone from listening to the radio.

  • Robert C

    Bought a 2020 Toyota Camry le in October it’s now February. The cars electronic features barely work if at all, my PCs which is the collision system continually malfunctions, random breaking going down the highway while the system says to be off and when the PCs is acting up you have no cruise control either. Both the dealership and Toyota corporate have done nothing to actually work on the vehicle. However, they ran one diagnostics in February saying there where no anomalies yet the lights saying it was malfunctioning where displayed, along with the no cruise message. They have refused any service and have basically said it’s my problem. This car is not even safe to drive with the system malfunctioning that controls both my throttle and breaks. Keep in mind I cannot manually override the system if it wants to go and I need to stop it just keeps accelerating while I have my foot on the break and vice versa.

  • bob r

    Experiencing dead battery issues with my 2020 toyota camry, very dissapointed.

  • Brandon d

    Bougth my 2020 toyota camry with 0 miles on agust now with 7k miles on January the battery died
    I also had issues with my doors having a rattle im the only person that uses this car none of the doors besides driver door its open but somehow 3 out the 4 doors have a rattle to it when driving on a slightly rough

  • Noreen

    I bought my 2020 Camry last November. Yesterday went out to drive it and battery dead. A service person came out and jumped it. It was fine after that. Went out this morning and dead again! Didn’t know that there were problems with the batteries. Also lots of road noise. GRRRR

  • Chris h

    Purchased a 2020 camry se there are some smaller things not satisfying but to get to the important part the drive ability at 11,ooo miles now started trying to tell toyota well before the first oil change that somthin was up it well there tec didn’t have the ability to Diagnose it so they told me that they needed to let there tec drive my car to his house overnight witch is out of our local area to be able to fix well. I Let them and he being the tec said it was a part in the transmission so the wait for part from Kentucky started well it was replaced then I was told that I needed to you guessed it.let the tec drive my car to his house agian for more data well that didn’t work so I had to call them today cuz they wernt calling me with any news now they are Chasing a problem in the electrical Something about this computer In random changing mis firing cylinders Needless to say the frustration level is on another level Where do I stand

  • Jeanette M

    I have had my 2020 Camry for 6 months. The battery was dead in 3 months. I called AAA and they recharged my battery. 3 months later I get in my car and its dead again!! I’m going to the dealership today and see what I can do. This is ridiculous. I only had my new vehicle for 6 months.

  • Imran

    Hello,
    Is this battery draining problem only known with the regular 2020 Camry or also with the 2020 Camry HYBRID?

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